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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Former Owner of Dominican Republic Bank Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Money Laundering Conspiracy

A former owner of Banco Peravia bank in the Dominican Republic was sentenced to three years in prisontoday for his role in a billion-dollar money laundering scheme involving currency exchange.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Mark Selby of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Mark B. Dawson of HSI's Houston Field Office, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and Inspector General Jay N. Lerner of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Washington, D.C. Office made the announcement.

Gabriel Arturo Jimenez Aray (Jimenez), 50, a Venezuelan citizen residing in Chicago, Illinois and former owner of Banco Peravia bank, was sentenced today to three years in prison by U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg of the Southern District of Florida. Jimenez pleaded guilty under seal on March 20, 2018 to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  As part of his guilty plea, Jimenez admitted that, as part of the scheme, he conspired with co-conspirator Raul Gorrin Belisario, 50, and others to acquire Banco Peravia, through which he helped launder bribe money and scheme proceeds.  Jimenez and his co-conspirators made the decision to use Banco Peravia to pay bribes to Venezuelan government officials in exchange for contracts to conduct currency exchange schemes and to launder the money obtained from running those currency exchange schemes.  Jimenez facilitated illegal transactions and bribe payments to foreign officials and others via bank issued credit cards, cash disbursements, wire transfers and other financial transactions, he admitted. 

HSI Miami, HSI Houston, HSI Boston, FBI Miami and the FDIC investigated this case.  This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Vanessa Sisti Snyder, Paul A. Hayden and John-Alex Romano of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael B. Nadler and Nalina Sombuntham of the Southern District of Florida.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in this matter.  The Policía Nacional (Spanish National Police) also provided significant assistance. 

The Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters.  Additional information about the department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Foreign Corruption
Press Release Number: 
18-1581
Updated November 29, 2018